You Asked: Inmates fund education

Published 10:37 am Saturday, April 23, 2011

Western Tidewater Regional Jail inmate Brian Knight loads items on the racks while taking a course on warehousing through Paul D. Camp Community College. Tuition for Knight and seven other inmates was covered with profits from the Suffolk jail's canteen program.

Editor’s Note: Curious about something in Western Tidewater? Send your question to and we’ll do our best to find the answer.

You Asked: When an inmate attends Paul D. Camp Community College, who pays the tuition?

FRANKLIN—“The jail,” said Wendy Harrison, public relations specialist for Paul D. Camp Community College.

Harrison on April 3 wrote a story in The Tidewater News about eight inmates from Western Tidewater Regional Jail enrolled in the Warehouse and Operations Program at PDCCC.

James Bridgeford, director of administration and support services for the jail in Suffolk, said profits from the inmates’ canteen fund covers tuition for such programs.

“In other words, it’s all good,” Bridgeford said.

The canteen is a store at the jail for inmates to buy things like underwear, hygiene products, snacks and drinks.

“Proceeds from the canteen fund earn a profit, which goes back for recreation and education,” Bridgeford said. “We have educational programs available for those who qualify for them.”

The cost of the nine-credit certificate warehouse program at PDCCC is $976, Harrison said.

Most of the inmates who participated in the eight-week program had less than a year to serve in jail. They took their classes at the jail and did hands-on training at the Regional Development Workforce Center on the PDCCC campus in Franklin. The program was developed in anticipation of increased demand for warehouse workers.